Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Current Account Imbalances: can Structural Reforms Help to Reduce Them?

Contents:

Author Info

  • Clovis Kerdrain
  • Isabell Koske
  • Isabelle Wanner

Abstract

This article explores the impact of structural policies on saving, investment, and current accounts in OECD and non-OECD economies. Since the current account effects of structural reforms are often complex and ambiguous from a theoretical perspective, new OECD empirical analysis is carried out. Reduced-form equations are estimated for a panel of 30 OECD countries as well as for a panel/cross-section of 117 OECD and non- OECD countries that relate saving, investment and current accounts to policy indicators and a set of macroeconomic control variables. This work suggests that structural reforms may influence saving, investment and current accounts through their impact on macroeconomic conditions such as productivity growth or public revenues and expenditures, but also more directly: i) higher social spending (in particular on health care) is found to lower the saving rate and thereby to weaken the current account, most likely reflecting lower precautionary saving; ii) product market liberalisation temporarily boosts investment and thus also weakens the current account; iii) financial market deregulation may lower the saving rate, though only in less developed countries; iv) stricter employment protection may be associated with lower saving rates if unemployment benefits are low, as well as with higher investment rates possibly due to greater substitution of capital for labour. A scenario analysis indicates that fiscal consolidation and structural reforms in the main world economies could significantly reduce current global imbalances, possibly by about one-third.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/eco_studies-2011-5kg5825lkmvl
Download Restriction: Full text available to READ online. PDF download available to OECD iLibrary subscribers.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Bibliographic Info

Article provided by OECD Publishing in its journal OECD Journal: Economic Studies.

Volume (Year): 2011 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 1-44

as in new window
Handle: RePEc:oec:ecokac:5kg5825lkmvl

Contact details of provider:
Postal: 2 rue Andre Pascal, 75775 Paris Cedex 16
Phone: 33-(0)-1-45 24 82 00
Fax: 33-(0)-1-45 24 85 00
Email:
Web page: http://www.oecd.org
More information through EDIRC

Order Information:
Web: http://www.oecd.org/bookshop?19952856

Related research

Keywords: Saving; investment; current account; social welfare system; labour market regulation; product market regulation; financial market regulation; taxation;

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Engen, Eric M. & Gruber, Jonathan, 2001. "Unemployment insurance and precautionary saving," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 545-579, June.
  2. Ettore Dorrucci & Alexis Meyer-Cirkel & Daniel Santabárbara, 2009. "Domestic Financial Development in Emerging Economies: Evidence and Implications," Occasional Paper Series 102, European Central Bank.
  3. Christopher D. Carroll & Karen E. Dynan & Spencer D. Krane, 1999. "Unemployment risk and precautionary wealth: evidence from households' balance sheets," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1999-15, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  4. Feng, Jin & He, Lixin & Sato, Hiroshi, 2009. "Public pension and household saving: Evidence from China," BOFIT Discussion Papers 2/2009, Bank of Finland, Institute for Economies in Transition.
  5. Oriana Bandiera & Gerard Caprio Jr. & Patrick Honohan & Fabio Schiantarelli, 1998. "Does Financial Reform Raise or Reduce Savings?," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 413, Boston College Department of Economics.
  6. Florian Pelgrin & Alain de Serres, 2003. "The Decline in Private Saving Rates in the 1990s in OECD Countries: How Much Can Be Explained by Non-wealth Determinants?," OECD Economic Studies, OECD Publishing, vol. 2003(1), pages 117-153.
  7. Andrew Benito, 2002. "Does Job Insecurity Affect Household Consumption?," Banco de Espa�a Working Papers 0225, Banco de Espa�a.
  8. Ricardo J Caballero & Emmanuel Farhi & Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas, 2006. "An equilibrum model of "global imbalances" and low interest rates," BIS Working Papers 222, Bank for International Settlements.
  9. Marcos Chamon & Eswar Prasad, 2008. "Why are Saving Rates of Urban Households in China Rising?," IMF Working Papers 08/145, International Monetary Fund.
  10. Alessandra Fogli & Fabrizio Perri, 2006. "The "Great Moderation" and the US External Imbalance," NBER Working Papers 12708, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Andrew Clark & Fabien Postel-Vinay, 2005. "Job security and job protection," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19904, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  12. Orazio Attanasio & James Banks & Matthew Wakefield, 2004. "Effectiveness of tax incentives to boost (retirement) saving: theoretical motivation and empirical evidence," IFS Working Papers W04/33, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  13. Nikolaus Bartzsch, 2008. "Precautionary Saving and Income Uncertainty in Germany – New Evidence from Microdata," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Department of Statistics and Economics, vol. 228(1), pages 5-24, February.
  14. Mariacristina De Nardi & Eric French & John Bailey Jones, 2005. "Differential mortality, uncertain medical expenses, and the saving of elderly singles," Working Paper Series WP-05-13, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  15. Scarpetta, Stefano & Tressel, Thierry, 2004. "Boosting productivity via innovation and adoption of new technologies : any role for labor market institutions?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3273, The World Bank.
  16. Aglietta, Michel & Chateau, Jean & Fayolle, Jacky & Juillard, Michel & Le Cacheux, Jacques & Le Garrec, Gilles & Touze, Vincent, 2007. "Pension reforms in Europe: An investigation with a computable OLG world model," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 481-505, May.
  17. Ju, Jiandong & Wei, Shang-Jin, 2006. "A Solution to Two Paradoxes of International Capital Flows," CEPR Discussion Papers 5981, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  18. Andrea Bassanini & Danielle Venn, 2007. "Assessing the Impact of Labour Market Policies on Productivity: A Difference-in-Differences Approach," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 54, OECD Publishing.
  19. Jean-Marc Fournier & Isabell Koske, 2010. "A Simple Model of the Relationship Between Productivity, Saving and the Current Account," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 816, OECD Publishing.
  20. Jonathan David Ostry & Carmen Reinhart, 1991. "Private Saving and Terms of Trade Shocks: Evidence from Developing Countries," IMF Working Papers 91/100, International Monetary Fund.
  21. Beata Smarzynska Javorcik & Mariana Spatareanu, 2005. "Do Foreign Investors Care about Labor Market Regulations?," Working Papers Rutgers University, Newark 2005-005, Department of Economics, Rutgers University, Newark.
  22. Andrea Bassanini & Andrea Garnero & Pascal Marianna & Sébastien Martin, 2010. "Institutional Determinants of Worker Flows: A Cross-Country/Cross-Industry Approach," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 107, OECD Publishing.
  23. Mariacristina Rossi, 2006. "Examining the interaction between saving and contributions to Personal Pension Plans. Evidence from the BHPS," CeRP Working Papers 49, Center for Research on Pensions and Welfare Policies, Turin (Italy).
  24. Orazio P. Attanasio & Agar Brugiavini, 2003. "Social Security And Households' Saving," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(3), pages 1075-1119, August.
  25. Chinn, Menzie D. & Ito, Hiro, 2007. "Current account balances, financial development and institutions: Assaying the world "saving glut"," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 546-569, June.
  26. Alberto Alesina & Silvia Ardagna & Giuseppe Nicoletti & Fabio Schiantarelli, 2003. "Regulation and Investment," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 352, OECD Publishing.
  27. Rachel Griffith & Rupert Harisson, 2004. "The link between product market reform and macro-economic performance," European Economy - Economic Papers 209, Directorate General Economic and Monetary Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
  28. Luiz de Mello & Per Mathis Kongsrud & Robert W.R. Price, 2004. "Saving Behaviour and the Effectiveness of Fiscal Policy," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 397, OECD Publishing.
  29. Abel, Andrew B & Eberly, Janice C, 1994. "A Unified Model of Investment under Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1369-84, December.
  30. R. Glenn Hubbard & Jonathan Skinner & Stephen P. Zeldes, 1995. "Precautionary Saving and Social Insurance," NBER Working Papers 4884, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  31. Giacomo Corneo & Matthias Keese & Carsten Schröder, 2009. "The Riester Scheme and Private Savings: An Empirical Analysis based on the German SOEP," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 129(2), pages 321-332.
  32. Calista Cheung & Davide Furceri & Elena Rusticelli, 2013. "Structural and Cyclical Factors behind Current Account Balances," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(5), pages 923-944, November.
  33. Emanuele Baldacci & Ding Ding & David Coady & Giovanni Callegari & Pietro Tommasino & Jaejoon Woo & Manmohan S. Kumar, 2010. "Public Expenditures on Social Programs and Household Consumption in China," IMF Working Papers 10/69, International Monetary Fund.
  34. Jonathan Gruber & Aaron Yelowitz, 1997. "Public Health Insurance and Private Savings," UCLA Economics Working Papers 772, UCLA Department of Economics.
  35. Cyrille Schwellnus & Jens Arnold, 2008. "Do Corporate Taxes Reduce Productivity and Investment at the Firm Level?: Cross-Country Evidence from the Amadeus Dataset," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 641, OECD Publishing.
  36. Tullio Jappelli & Luigi Pistaferri & Guglielmo Weber, 2007. "Health care quality, economic inequality, and precautionary saving," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(4), pages 327-346.
  37. Ricardo J. Caballero & Arvind Krishnamurthy, 2009. "Global Imbalances and Financial Fragility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 584-88, May.
  38. Alessandra Guariglia & Mariachristina Rossi, 1999. "Consumption, habit formation and precautionary saving: Evidence from the UK," Economics Discussion Papers 502, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
  39. Steven Barnett & Ray Brooks, 2010. "China: Does Government Health and Education Spending Boost Consumption?," IMF Working Papers 10/16, International Monetary Fund.
  40. Beck, Nathaniel & Katz, Jonathan N., 2001. "Throwing Out the Baby with the Bath Water: A Comment on Green, Kim, and Yoon," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 55(02), pages 487-495, March.
  41. James M. Poterba & Steven F. Venti & David A. Wise, 1996. "How Retirement Saving Programs Increase Saving," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(4), pages 91-112, Fall.
  42. Loayza, N. & Schmidt, K. & Serven, L., 1999. "What Drives Private Saving Across the World?," Papers 47, Cambridge - Risk, Information & Quantity Signals.
  43. Laurence Boone & Nathalie Girouard & Isabelle Wanner, 2001. "Financial Market Liberalisation, Wealth and Consumption," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 308, OECD Publishing.
  44. Olivier Jeanne & Romain Rancière, 2011. "The Optimal Level of International Reserves For Emerging Market Countries: A New Formula and Some Applications," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(555), pages 905-930, 09.
  45. Mike Kennedy & Torsten Sløk, 2005. "Structural Policy Reforms and External Imbalances," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 415, OECD Publishing.
  46. Abdul Abiad & Enrica Detragiache & Thierry Tressel, 2010. "A New Database of Financial Reforms," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 57(2), pages 281-302, June.
  47. Hervé Boulhol & Alain de Serres & Margit Molnár, 2008. "The contribution of economic geography to GDP per capita," OECD Journal: Economic Studies, OECD Publishing, vol. 2008(1), pages 1-37.
  48. Dornbusch, Rudiger, 1983. "Real Interest Rates, Home Goods, and Optimal External Borrowing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(1), pages 141-53, February.
  49. Ricardo J. Caballero, 2006. "On the Macroeconomics of Asset Shortages," NBER Working Papers 12753, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  50. Alain de Serres & Shuji Kobayakawa & Torsten Sløk & Laura Vartia, 2006. "Regulation of Financial Systems and Economic Growth," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 506, OECD Publishing.
  51. Arellano, Manuel & Bond, Stephen, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(2), pages 277-97, April.
  52. Obstfeld, Maurice, 2010. "The immoderate world economy," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 603-614, June.
  53. Laura Vartia, 2008. "How do Taxes Affect Investment and Productivity?: An Industry-Level Analysis of OECD Countries," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 656, OECD Publishing.
  54. Jha, Shikha & Prasad, Eswar & Terada-Hagiwara, Akiko, 2009. "Saving in Asia: Issues for Rebalancing Growth," ADB Economics Working Paper Series 162, Asian Development Bank.
  55. Summers, Lawrence H, 1984. "The After-Tax Rate of Return Affects Private Savings," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(2), pages 249-53, May.
  56. Holger Görg, 2005. "Fancy a Stay at the 'Hotel California'? The Role of Easy Entry and Exit for FDI," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(4), pages 519-535, November.
  57. Krugman, Paul, 1989. "Differences in income elasticities and trends in real exchange rates," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 1031-1046, May.
  58. Tatiana Kirsanova & James Sefton, 2006. "A Comparison of National Saving Rates in the UK, US and Italy," Discussion Papers 0612, Exeter University, Department of Economics.
  59. Milton Friedman, 1957. "A Theory of the Consumption Function," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number frie57-1.
  60. Zhou, Yanfei, 2003. "Precautionary saving and earnings uncertainty in Japan: A household-level analysis," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 192-212, June.
  61. Haaland, Jan Ingvald Meidell & Wooton, Ian, 2001. "Multinational firms: Easy come, easy go?," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 11, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
  62. Erik Hurst & Arthur Kennickell & Annamaria Lusardi & Francisco Torralba, 2005. "Precautionary Savings and the Importance of Business Owners," NBER Working Papers 11731, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  63. Clovis Kerdrain & Isabell Koske & Isabelle Wanner, 2010. "The Impact of Structural Policies on Saving, Investment and Current Accounts," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 815, OECD Publishing.
  64. Lusardi, Annamaria, 1997. "Precautionary saving and subjective earnings variance," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 57(3), pages 319-326, December.
  65. Judson, Ruth A. & Owen, Ann L., 1999. "Estimating dynamic panel data models: a guide for macroeconomists," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 9-15, October.
  66. Papaioannou, Elias, 2007. "Finance and growth: a macroeconomic assessment of the evidence from a European angle," Working Paper Series 0787, European Central Bank.
  67. Harris, Mark N & Loundes, Joanne & Webster, Elizabeth, 2002. "Determinants of Household Saving in Australia," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 78(241), pages 207-23, June.
  68. Breusch, Trevor & Ward, Michael B & Nguyen, Hoa & Kompas, Tom, 2010. "On the fixed-effects vector decomposition," MPRA Paper 21452, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  69. Felix Hüfner & Isabell Koske, 2010. "Explaining Household Saving Rates in G7 Countries: Implications for Germany," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 754, OECD Publishing.
  70. Nickell, Stephen J, 1981. "Biases in Dynamic Models with Fixed Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(6), pages 1417-26, November.
  71. Sarantis, Nicholas & Stewart, Chris, 2001. "Saving Behaviour in OECD Countries: Evidence from Panel Cointegration Tests," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 69(0), pages 22-41, Supplemen.
  72. Gruber, Joseph W. & Kamin, Steven B., 2007. "Explaining the global pattern of current account imbalances," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 500-522, June.
  73. Andrew A. Samwick, 2000. "Is Pension Reform Conducive to Higher Saving?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(2), pages 264-272, May.
  74. Gerda Dewit & Holger Görg & Catia Montagna, 2009. "Should I stay or should I go? Foreign direct investment, employment protection and domestic anchorage," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 145(1), pages 93-110, April.
  75. Thierry Bracke & Matthieu Bussière & Michael Fidora & Roland Straub, 2008. "A framework for assessing global imbalances," Occasional Paper Series 78, European Central Bank.
  76. Stefano Scarpetta & Thierry Tressel, 2002. "Productivity and Convergence in a Panel of OECD Industries: Do Regulations and Institutions Matter?," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 342, OECD Publishing.
  77. Paul Conway & Donato de Rosa & Giuseppe Nicoletti & Faye Steiner, 2006. "Regulation, Competition and Productivity Convergence," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 509, OECD Publishing.
  78. Giuseppe Nicoletti & Steve Golub & Dana Hajkova & Daniel Mirza & Kwang-Yeol Yoo, 2003. "Policies and International Integration: Influences on Trade and Foreign Direct Investment," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 359, OECD Publishing.
  79. Alessandra Guariglia, 2002. "Consumption, habit formation, and precautionary saving: evidence from the British Household Panel Survey," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 54(1), pages 1-19, January.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Rudiger Ahrend & Antoine Goujard & Cyrille Schwellnus, 2012. "International Capital Mobility: Which Structural Policies Reduce Financial Fragility?," OECD Economic Policy Papers 2, OECD Publishing.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oec:ecokac:5kg5825lkmvl. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.